Above: Sheldon Silver
Sheldon Silver Trial Date Set; Claims Feds Withheld Evidence
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s corruption trial has now been scheduled for November 2, and Silver and his lawyers are accusing federal prosecutors of withholding key – but unspecified –evidence in the case, the New York Post reported.
In a federal court hearing, Silver pleaded not guilty to new charges that he put bribe and kickback money into private, illegal high-yield investment opportunities. And his attorney, Joel Cohen, reportedly told Judge Valerie Caproni that the defense wants “all of the material” the government received related to the case from the disbanded Moreland Commission on Public Corruption.
“We don’t believe they’ve turned over everything,” another Silver lawyer, Steven Molo, said, but refused to specify what documents or evidence he believes the government is withholding.
Federal prosecutors insist all relevant documents and evidence were given to Silver’s defense as required by law.
Silver is accused of a $4 million bribery and kickback scheme and then hiding some of the money in an illegal investment scheme. The evidence for the bribery and kickback charges reportedly grew out of the investigation conducted by the Moreland Commission formed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to investigate state corruption but then abruptly disbanded by him. The commission’s records and files were eventually given to US Attorney Preet Bharara, and Silver was arrested and indicted not long after.
The 71-year-old former speaker, an Orthodox Jew, faces up to 60 years in prison.
[Hat Tip: The Lion.]